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The International Art Marathon


The International Art Marathon, conceived by the founders of the Funun Arts Group, Shiba Khan and Farah Khan, represents a pioneering effort to mobilize creativity and solidarity in response to the myriad challenges facing our world today. 


Founded in 2023, where students from schools in different states of India and the UAE painted with the theme “We Can Change Climate Change” as a part of Annual Student Art Show. Going ahead in the year 2024, this innovative initiative provides a unique platform for individuals from all walks of life to come together with a singular purpose: to heal the world.



The Marathon powered by Young Times and supported by Khaleej Times started its journey with the grand launch ceremony from the school ambassador and partner of Dubai, Al Mawakeb, Al Khawaneej. The grand launch ceremony was attended by esteemed guests: Her Excellency Abida Hossain (First lady of Consulate general of Bangladesh), Ms. Khulood Al Junaibi, Events Director of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority and the General Secretary of UAE Sports For All Federation, Her Excellency Laila Rahhal (President & Founder of Business Gate & Women Business Circle), Mrs. Harjyot Oberoi Bohra (Head of Marketing & Communication, Khaleej Times), Mrs. Safia Bari, Founder of SNF Center for special needs,  Mr. Ahmed Al Awadhi (pioneer artist and businessman), Mr. Mohammed Ali (Owner of Breathe Gallery), Mrs. Kusum Dutta (Philanthropist), Mrs. Babli Singh (Wife of Labor Consul, India), Ms. Samira Al Awadhi, the principal of Al Mawakeb School, Al Khawaneej , Ms. Gretta Soubhie, activities and wellbeing coordinator and Mr. Marwan Karout, HOD Arts of Al Mawakeb School, Al Khawaneej. Besides these there were 350 students from 10 different schools of Dubai, 20 teachers and 25 youth ambassadors appointed by Funun Arts Group and Youth Creative Minds Hub for the year 2024 -2025 from different schools. 


There are more than 10 schools who joined the art marathon as the school partners. From Dubai were: North American International School, Arab Unity School, Cedar School, Al Mawakeb, Garhoud, Al Mawakeb, Barsha, Indian High School, New Academy School, Al Salam Private School, and Dubai Gem Private School.



Other school partners were: International School of Creative Science, Muwaileh, Sharjah, Ryan International School, Sharjah, Bronte College, Canada, AllenHouse Public School, Kanpur, India. Besides these participating countries till now are Congo, Pakistan, Oman, Kuwait, and Qatar.


Talking about the Baton Ms. Shiba Khan said:” The Baton of the International Art Marathon is ingeniously crafted, embodying the event’s essence and importance. Shaped like a painting brush with eight brushes atop, it holds profound symbolism. Each brush represents a UAE emirate, while the eighth brush symbolizes global connectivity. The gold color signifies success, hope, and achievement, resonating with the marathon’s spirit. Presented in a transparent square box, the baton exudes elegance and transparency, mirroring the mission to heal the world through art.



The International Art Marathon journey started from Dubai on 8th. May, next stop is Sharjah on 16th.May, then to Canada on 22nd. May, Ajman in June, India in July, Congo in August, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain, and Abu Dhabi in September. Oman, Kuwait, Bangladesh, and Pakistan in October.


Ms. Shiba Khan’s initiative to organize the International Art Marathon is truly remarkable. It’s incredible to see such a global effort to promote the message of healing the world through art. The journey spanning across different countries and cultures not only showcases the universality of the theme but also fosters a sense of unity and collaboration among people from diverse backgrounds.



Ms. Farah Khan, co-founder of Funun Arts Group said:” The tagline “Heal the World” encapsulates the urgent need for collective action to address the environmental and humanitarian challenges we face. It serves as a poignant reminder of our responsibility to safeguard the Earth for future generations. With each passing day, the impact of human actions on the planet becomes more pronounced, affecting not only the environment but also the well-being of communities worldwide.


The Baton of Hope, passed on by Ms. Shiba Khan, Ms. Farah Khan, and Mohd. Huzaifa Khan, Founders of Funun Arts Group and Youth Creative Mind Hub to Ms. Samira Al Awadhi, the principal of Al Mawakeb School, Al Khawaneej and to the youth ambassadors of the respective school. This played a pivotal role in fostering a culture of creativity and social responsibility among the students and represents the collective effort of individuals and organizations committed to making a positive difference in the world.



The passing of the Baton of Hope from Ms. Samira Al Awadhi to Ms. Saida Banu and the youth ambassadors of the International School of Creative Science, Muweilah, Sharjah symbolizes the continuity of the spirit of hope and responsibility in the journey of healing the world through art. It’s heartening to see educators and young leaders taking on the mantle of spreading this message of unity and collaboration. The launch ceremony was enhanced by the group of young singers from Al Mawakeb School, Al Khawaneej and the tremendous performance by the kathak dancer Ms. Swarashri Shridhar.


The Art Marathon represents a commendable effort to harness the power of creativity and unity in addressing global challenges. By bringing together people from diverse backgrounds to paint and raise awareness about togetherness and environmental protection, this initiative stands as both innovative and impactful. Statement by Ms. Samira Al Awadhi, Principal of Al Mawakeb School Al Khawaneej, Dubai.


Ms. Harjyot Oberoi, Head of Marketing and Communication, Khaleej Times said:” An admirable attempt to harness the power of art and solidarity in tackling global concerns is the International Art Marathon. This initiative is noteworthy for its innovativeness and impact as it brings individuals from all backgrounds together to paint and promote awareness about environmental protection and togetherness. 


Mohd. Huzaifa Khan, Co-founder of YCM Hub said: “Each step the International Art Marathon takes will serve as a bridge, connecting diverse cultures and communities across the globe. As it travels, it will carry with it the essence of creativity, unity, and inspiration, leaving a trail of art and beauty in its wake. This journey symbolizes the boundless power of art to transcend boundaries and bring people together in a celebration of shared humanity and creativity with its final phase back in UAE.


Mohammad Al Gurair, one of the Youth Ambassador said: “Heal the World” calls upon us to awaken to the reality of these threats and to recognize the imperative of taking decisive action. It is a rallying cry for individuals, communities, and nations to come together, transcend differences, and work towards a common goal of environmental preservation and social justice. By heeding this call, we can pave the way for a more sustainable and equitable future”.


Funun Arts Group announced the ambassador of International Art Marathon from all seven Emirates and several countries who will be the part of this grand journey to heal the world. Bronte College, Ontario from Canada and Allenhouse Public School, Kanpur from India are the school ambassadors of the respective countries. Her Excellency Abida Hosain was honored as the IÁM Ambassador of Bangladesh.


Kavita Sriram, IÁM Ambassador of Abu Dhabi, Sumedha Randev, IÁM Ambassador of Ras Al-Khaimah, Pari Sagar, IÁM Ambassador of UMM Al Quwain, Dr. Poonam Chauhan, IÁM Ambassador of Fujairah, Saida Banu, IÁM Ambassador of Sharjah, Hiba Khan, I’AM Ambassador of Dubai, Laila Rahhal, IÁM Ambassador of Ajman. Hafsa Fatima, IÁM Ambassador India and Madhuri Musani, IÁM Ambassador of Congo. All these ambassadors received the batons for their respective regions and finally put them all together with an oath” HEAL THE WORLD”.


The International Art Marathon was a profound and inspiring event! With 350 students, from 10 different schools of Dubai, coming together to express their interpretations of “Heal the World,” it was incredible to witness the diverse perspectives and artistic expressions all centered on such a meaningful theme. It was the start of the mega marathon.


“Heal the World” indeed encapsulates the idea of unity and responsibility toward our planet and all its inhabitants. It’s a reminder that we’re all interconnected, and the actions we take today have far-reaching effects on the world and its future. The event not only showcased the talent and creativity of the students but also highlighted the importance of collective action in addressing global challenges.


Events like these serve as powerful reminders of the potential for positive change when individuals come together with a shared vision of creating a better world. They inspire hope and encourage us to think critically about how we can contribute to healing our planet and fostering a more sustainable and equitable future for all.


Now the next stop is Sharjah, International School of Creative Science. Stay tuned to be the part of I’AM.


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